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Nation to maintain cap on energy consumption

By Du Juan (China Daily)

08:51, January 25, 2013

China will continue to cap its energy consumption, increase the use of non-fossil fuels and keep oil imports within 61 percent of total demand during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), said the State Council on Wednesday.

The country's energy consumption will be capped at 4 billion metric tons of standard coal, and power use will be 6.15 trillion kilowatt-hours in 2015.

Energy consumption per unit of GDP will be cut by 16 percent compared with 2010 levels while energy efficiency will be raised by 38 percent, the plan said.

Last year, China's total energy consumption reached 3.62 billion tons of standard coal, up 4 percent year-on-year, Dai Yande, deputy director of Energy Research Institute under the National Development and Reform Commission, said at an industrial conference earlier this month.

By 2015, the country's coal production capacity will reach 4.1 billion tons, but the output will be limited within 3.9 billion tons.

The five major energy production areas - Shanxi province, the Erdos basin, eastern Inner Mongolia autonomous region, southwestern China and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region - will realize overall energy production capacity of 2.66 billion tons of standard coal in 2015, accounting for more than 70 percent of the country's total capacity.

China will reduce coal consumption's share of the total energy mix to 65 percent from 66.4 percent in 2012.

Meanwhile, the country will raise its non-fossil fuel consumption to 11.4 percent of primary energy use by the end of 2015, with natural gas accounting for 7.5 percent.

In 2012, non-fossil fuel consumption took up about 9.1 percent of the energy mix, up 1.1 percent year-on-year. Natural gas consumption accounted for 5.5 percent of the total mix, according to the institute.

In order to increase its sources of clean energy, China will the accelerate coal-bed gas and shale gas exploitation over the next few years.

The country will establish the Qinshui and Erdos coal-bed gas production bases and push forward exploration and development testing programs for coal-bed gas production in other provinces including Hebei, Anhui, Shandong and Gansu.

It also aims to commercialize production of shale gas during the period of the plan. By 2015, newly added proven reserves of coal-bed gas will be 1 trillion cubic meters, and shale gas will reach 600 billion cu m.

"Unconventional natural gas will be an important growth sector for China's gas supply," said the plan.

China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, also known as Sinopec, one of China's top oil and gas developers, said on Monday that it will own up to 1 billion cubic meters of shale gas production capacity by the end of 2015. Cao Yaofeng, the company's vice-president, said Sinopec will realize 300 million to 400 million cu m of annual shale gas production capacity next year.

Huang Qing, information manager at energy information consultancy ICIS C1, said: "Some businesses sectors, such as natural gas generation, and liquid natural gas storage and transportation, will benefit from the newly released plan."

Meanwhile, the installed generating capacity of the country's nuclear power plants will reach 40 million kilowatt by 2015.

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